4 steps to take when caring for your pet
After working together as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, the number of cases in Australia continue to decrease. This is a sigh of relief to all of us. Nonetheless, it is always best to be aware on how to care for our pet in the unlikely event we do get the virus.
Although our furbabies are unlikely to get COVID-19, it is important that we restrict contact with our pets if we have (suspected or confirmed) the virus as a safety precaution until more information about the virus is known. Here are four guidelines we recommend to follow if you happen to be ill with COVID-19 to ensure your pet and the community stay healthy:
#1 Avoid contact with your pet
- Maintain separation from your pet as you would with other household members by staying in a specific ‘sick room’ as much as possible.
- Avoid direct contact with your dog or cat. This includes snuggling, petting, being licked or kissed, sharing food or sleeping in the same room.
#2 Assign someone else to care for your pet
- If possible, have another household member or business take care of caring and feeding of your pet. Make sure they always practice good hygiene. Washing hands before and after being around or handling your pet, supplies or food.
- If you are transferring a pet from a home where they may have been in contact with an infected person, wash the pet thoroughly with shampoo before entering a home without infected people.
- If you have a service animal or must care for your pet, wear a mask, wash your hands before and after any contact with them, and do not share kisses, hugs or food.
#3 Self-isolate your pet with the rest of the family
- Pets who have been in contact with a person sick with COVID-19 should not interact with people outside your property. They should be self-isolating with the rest of the family. If your property does not have a courtyard or garden, try to find someone else to care for your pet.
- If your pet is sick or injured, ring the clinic ahead and have a friend or family member outside the household bring the animal to the veterinary hospital or clinic. Depending on the conditions, opt for a telemedicine consultation to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
#4 Be prepared beforehand
- Make sure you have a plan prepared for your pet in advance. This includes having sufficient supplies such as food, treats, long-lasting chews, medication and cleaning products, to updating your pets details and having a plan in place in the event you are hospitalised.
It is important to include your pet when self-isolating if you suspect or are confirmed to have COVID-19 to take extra precautions to be safe and minimise the risk of spreading the virus to the community. By working together (paws & hands from a distance), we will completely fight this pandemic!
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